Question: I have noticed that many French recipes include
alcoholic ingredients. As I do not drink any alcoholic drinks, is there a
substitute that could replace the alcohol?
Answer: Hi Kate,
You are quite right that a lot of French recipes include at least some alcohol. If it is not a main ingredient, substituting something else will probably be ok. If it's a main ingredient, like in Beef Bourguignon, better just to skip the recipe if you don't want to cook with alcohol. Contrary to popular myth, the alcohol doesn't all cook away in these dishes.
I think using a mild vinegar with some water as a substitute for the wine would work for most recipes where something is going to cook in the wine for a while. When alcohol is used as a flavoring, like rum in a cake, it is usually a small amount and can probably just be skipped, or perhaps replaced with an equivalent amount of any other liquid that is in the recipe.